Revision Notes Class 10th History: Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern World

Important Dates

  • 594 A.D. : Books in China were printed by rubbing paper against the inked surface of woodblocks.
  • 768 - 770 A.D. : Hand printing technology was introduced in Japan.
  • 868 A.D. : The first Japanese book ‘The Diamond Sutra’ was printed.
  • 11th Century : Paper reached Europe from China.
  • 1295 A.D. : Marco Polo brought the knowledge of producing books with woodblocks to Europe from China.
  • 1448 A.D. : Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press.
  • 1450-1550 A.D. : Printing presses set up in most countries of Europe.
  • 1517 A.D. : Religious reformer Martin Luther printed ‘Ninety Five Theses’, criticizing many of the practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church, starting the ‘Protestant Reformation’.
  • 1558 A.D. : The Roman Church began maintaining an index of prohibited books.
  • 1822 : Two Persian newspapers ‘Jam-i-Jahan Nama’ and ‘Shamsul Akbar’ were published.
  • 1843 : Steam powered rotary printing press, suitable for printing newspapers was invented by Richard Hoe.
  • 1878 : The Vernacular Press Act was passed in India.
  • 1880s : Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai wrote about the miserable lives of upper-caste Hindu women, especially widows.
  • 1926 : Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossein, an educationist and literary figure, strongly condemned men for withholding education from women.

Important Terms to Remember

  • Calligraphy: Calligraphy is an ancient writing technique using flat edged pens to create artistic lettering using thick and thin lines depending on the direction of the stroke.
  • Diamond Sutra: The oldest Japanese book printed in AD 868 containing six sheets of text and woodcut illustrations.
  • Compositor: The person who composes the text for printing.
  • Despotism: A system of governance in which absolute power is exercised by an individual, unregulated by legal and constitutional checks.
  • Almanac: An almanac is an annual publication that includes information like weather forecasts, farmers' planting dates, tide tables, and other tabular data often arranged according to the calendar.
  • Denominations: Sub-groups within a religion. For example, a Christian can be Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Protestant, etc.
  • Anthology: A collection of literary works chosen by the compiler. It may be a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts.
  • Galley: Metal frame in which types are laid and the text composed.
  • Chapbooks: Pocket size books that were popular in the 16th century print revolution.
  • Taverns: A tavern is a place of business where people gather to drink alcoholic beverages and be served food, and in most cases, where travellers receive lodging.
  • Protestant Reformation: The religious revolution that took place in the Western church in the 16th century. Its greatest leaders undoubtedly were Martin Luther and John Calvin.
  • Lithography: The process of printing from a smooth surface, viz., a metal plate that has been specially prepared so that ink only sticks to the design to be printed.
  • Revolution: Cause to change fundamentally.
  • Ulama: Legal scholars of Islam and the Sharia (a body of Islamic law).
  • Vellum: A parchment made from the skin of animals.
  • New Testament: The second part of the Bible that describes the life and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
  • Scribes: Skilled hand writers of manuscripts.
  • Platen: In letter press printing, platen is a board which is pressed onto the back of the paper to get the impression from the type. At one time it used to be a wooden board, later it was made of steel.
  • Parchment: Skin of animals like goat or sheep, specially prepared for the purpose of writing, painting, etc.
  • Manuscript: Book or document written by hand. It can also be termed as author’s original copy – handwritten or typed but not printed.
  • Ballad: A historical account or folk tale in verse usually sung or recited.
  • Autobiography: Story of one’s own life written by the author himself or herself.
  • Inquisition: A judicial procedure and later an institution that was established by the papacy and, sometimes, by secular governments to combat heresy.
  • Heretical: Beliefs which do not follow the accepted teachings of the Church.
  • Satiety: The state of being fulfilled much beyond the point of satisfaction.
  • Fatwa: A legal pronouncement of Islamic law usually given by a mufti (legal scholar) to clarify issues on which the law is uncertain.
  • Seditions: Sedition is the illegal act of inciting people to resist or rebel against the government in power.

Print Culture and the Modern World

Summary

  • The earliest kind of print technology was developed in China, Japan and Korea. This was a system of hand printing.
  • Books in China were printed by rubbing paper against the inked surface of wooden blocks.
  • China was the major producer of printed materials.
  • The skilled craftsmen could duplicate, with remarkable accuracy, the different style of writing called calligraphy.
  • Shanghai was the hub of the new print culture.
  • The oldest printed book known is a Japanese Buddhist book, the Diamond Sutra printed in AD 868.
  • In medieval Japan, poets and prose writers were regularly published and books were cheap and abundant.
  • In the late 18th century, at Edo, illustrated collections of paintings depicted an elite urban culture.
  • For centuries, silk and spices from China flowed into Europe through the silk route.
  • In the 11th century, Chinese paper reached Europe through the silk route.
  • Gutenberg, son of a merchant, mastered printing technique by 1448. First book he printed was the Bible. It took him 3 years to print 180 copies.
  • One hundred eighty copies of this book were printed in three years.
  • Printed books at first closely resembled the written manuscripts in appearance and layout.
  • Luxury editions were still written by hand on very expensive ‘Vellum’ meant for aristocratic circles.
  • The print revolution transformed the lives of people.
  • In 1517, the religious reformer Martin Luther wrote ‘Ninety Five Theses’ criticising the Catholic Church.
  • Printing helped to spread the new ideas of Reformation.
  • The Roman Church imposed severe controls over publishers and booksellers.
  • In England, penny chapbooks were carried, by petty peddlers known as chapmen sold for a penny.
  • In France, small chapbooks called the ‘Biliotheque Bleue’ were sold at low-price.
  • The periodical press, newspapers and journals carried information about wars and trade, as well as news of development in other places.
  • The ideas and writings of the scientists like Isaac Newton, Thomas Paine, Voltaire and Jean Jacques Rousseau were printed and read.
  • The French Revolution occurred as printing helped the spread of ideas.
  • Primary education became compulsory from the late 19th century; children became an important category of readers.
  • A children’s press, devoted to literature for children was set up in France in 1857.
  • Penny magazines were specially meant for women.
  • The best known novelists were Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters and George Eliot.
  • In the 19th century, libraries in England became instruments for educating the factory workers, artisans and lower middle-class people.
  • Self-educated working class people wrote political tracts and autobiographies.
  • By the late 18th century, the press came to be made out of metal.
  • Richard M. Hoe of New York made the power driven cylindrical press, which was capable of printing 8,000 sheets per hour. This press was used for printing newspapers.
  • In the late 19th century, the offset press was developed.
  • In 1930s, publishers brought out cheap paperback editions.
  • Printers and publishers continuously developed new strategies to sell their product. In the 1920s in England, popular works were sold in cheap series, called the Shilling series.
  • India had a very rich and old tradition of hand written manuscripts in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian as well as in various vernacular languages.
  • In India, manuscripts were copied on palm leaves and on hand made paper.
  • In 1710, Dutch missionaries had printed 32 Tamil texts.
  • From 1780, James August Hickey began to edit the ‘Bengal Gazette’, a weekly magazine.
  • By the close of the 18th century, printing of many newspapers and journals started.
  • In the early 19th century, there were intense debates around existing religious issues.
  • Some groups wanted reforms, while others were against them.
  • This was a time of intense controversies between social and religious reforms.
  • The reformers were focused on the Hindu orthodoxy over matters like widow immolation, monotheism, Brahmanical priesthood and idolatry.
  • Many newspapers such as “Sambad Kaumudi” in 1821 (by Ram Mohan Roy) “Samachar Chandrika” (Hindu Orthodoxy), “Jam-i-Jahan Nama” and “Shamsul Akbar” from 1822 Persian newspaper) focused on this matter.
  • In North India, the ‘Ulama’ used lithographic presses, published Persian and Urdu translation of Holy Scriptures, and printed religious newspapers and tracts to spread their religion.
  • In 1867, Deoband seminary was founded which published thousands of ‘Fatwas’ telling the code of conduct of Muslims and explaining the meanings of doctrines.
  • Print encouraged the reading of religious texts, especially in the vernacular languages.
  • The first printed edition of the Ramcharitmanas came out from Calcutta in 1810.
  • Naval Kishore Press at Lucknow and the Shri Venkateshwar Press in Bombay published numerous religious texts in vernaculars.
  • At the end of the 19th century, a new visual culture was started.
    Painters like Raja Ravi Verma produced images for mass circulation.
  • Cheap prints and calendars were easily available in the market.
  • By the 1870’s, caricatures and cartoons were being published in journals and newspapers.
  • In 1860, few Bengali women like Kailashbashini Debi wrote books highlighting the experiences of women.
  • Hindi printing began from the 1870s.
  • In Punjab, folk literature was printed from the early 20th century.
  • In Bengal, the Battala was devoted to the printings of popular books; peddlers took the Battala publications to homes, enabling women to read in leisure time.
  • Public libraries were set up in the early 20th century.
  • Local protest movements created a lot of popular journals.
  • After the revolt of 1857, the attitude to freedom of the press changed.
  • In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was passed.
  • In 1907, Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote with great sympathy about Punjab revolution in his “Kesari”. This led to his imprisonment in 1908.

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